|JOHN TYLER BECKWITH, farmer
and teamster of Niantic, Conn., is a native of New London, and was born
July 10, 1838, his parents being Clement L. and Hannah (Chapel) Beckwith.
He comes of a line of brave men whose lives were hazarded in behalf of
their native land, his paternal grandfather, Seth Beckwith, having been
a soldier of the Revolution, and his father a soldier of the War of 1812.
Grandfather Beckwith was born in Waterford, and was a farmer. He married
a Miss Esther Leach, who bore him five sons and two daughters. One son
died young of lockjaw. Grandmother Beckwith, who survived her husband for
many years and was a pensioner, died in Montville about 1846, an octogenarian.
Their son, Clement L. Beckwith, above named,
was for forty-seven years a tenant farmer on the estate of Dr. Isaac Thompson,
of New London, and paid as high as three hundred and fifty dollars a year
for rent. The amicable relations which existed for so long a period between
him and his landlord were creditable to the character of both men. Mr.
Thompson highly valued his tenant, and when dying said, "Let Beckwith stay
as long as he wants to."Clement Beckwith's wife, Hannah Chapel, whom he
married in 1816, was born in Montville in 1796. She survived her husband
some eighteen years, and died December 11, 1881, in her eighty-sixth year.
They had a large family of children, as follows: Gilbert Russell, who was
accidentally killed when six years of age; Miroch, born in 1819, who died
in New London, aged sixty-two; Sarah A., who married Francis D. Beckwith,
of New London, and is living on Willets Avenue near the house where Mr.
John Tyler Beckwith was born; Allen, deceased at the age of nineteen; Anson,
who died in 1890, aged sixty-five years; Mary, who died before reaching
twenty years of age; Alfred, who died in 1887; and Maria, the wife of Henry
T. Squire, living on Ocean Avenue, New London, Conn.
John T. Beckwith in his boyhood received
a common-school education. His working life began at an early age, as he
sold milk for his father when he was no higher than a good-sized milk can,
and from that time on has been actively employed. He continued to sell
milk in New London for some twenty-two years. After marriage he lived on
his father's farm for seven years, improving that part of it which his
father had bought of Dr. Thompson. He then removed to the White Hall farm
in Mystic, in the town of Stonington, and was there for two years, at the
end of which time, in March, 1873, he came to the farm of Mrs. Beckwith's
father, which he has since purchased. He has been actively engaged in farming
and in teaming; and, although he has but twenty-five acres of land, it
is under high cultivation and yields abundantly. Three years ago he built
his fine large residence in Niantic.
On the 31st of December, 1863, he married
Annie T. Beckwith, a daughter of Horace and Mary (Comstock) Beckwith, of
Waterford, near East Lyme, where she was born April 14, 1841. Mr. Horace
Beckwith was a ship-carpenter at the head of Niantic River. His family
consisted of six sons and three daughters. Two of the sons, Turner and
Horace, and the three daughters grew to maturity. Turner Beckwith lives
in Niantic; but his brother Horace went away, and was never heard from.
One daughter is Mrs. Charles Bishop, of New London. Mr. and Mrs. John T.
Beckwith have two children: Fred A., who is engaged in the livery business
in this place, and is the father of one daughter, Leslie Mott; and Mary
H., wife of S. J. Weaver, of Flanders.
Mr. Beckwith is a Republican, and cast his
first vote in 1860 for President Lincoln. He is a trustee of the Baptist
church, and both he and his wife are devout and active members of that
Biographical Review Volume
Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens
of New London County Connecticut
Biographical Review Publishing Company
pgs 377 - 378